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Carrie Furnaces Photo Workshop

Posted: 22nd December 2013

Location: The Carrie Furnaces, Rankin PA
To be announced...?
Cost: $150

The Site: The Carrie Furnaces were built in 1881 as part of U.S. Steel's Homestead Works, a sprawling 400-acre complex that spanned both sides of the Monogahela river. They produced up to 1,250 tons of steel a day until 1978 when they were closed. While the majority of the site was razed for developments that never materialized (and a shopping center that did), the 100-foot high furnaces still stand; now they are an extremely rare example of pre-WWII ironmaking technology. The furnaces were designated as a national historic landmark in 2006 and preservation efforts are underway. During workshops we not only get access to areas otherwise not part of the tours for the public, but since it is a small group it is much easier to get shots uncluttered by others. Check out the gallery of images on my website.

The Workshop: During the workshop I will be on hand to help you get better shots - these environments can be pretty tough to navigate photographically and I encourage you to come with questions. I know some of you are just taking the tour to see the location, and if that's the case I'll stay out of your way and let you do your thing. Learning to use a tripod, what file format to shoot in, how to compose shots better, what ISO, F-Stop, and shutter speed affect, and how to do things like exposure bracketing are very important to your results. Don't feel afraid to ask me even questions that may seem silly to you. I want you to leave with pictures you're proud of. I've been doing this for a while and want you to learn from my mistakes and successes. We will be granted access to areas including the blowing engine house, cast house #6, the stove deck, the car dumper, the ore yard, and the stock house. UPDATE: The high line is unfortunately inaccessible due to safety reasons, but another area has been opened for us that will allow us to get some terrific shots of the entire sweep of the furnaces.

Safety: This site has been abandoned for quite some time. There is no electricity or working bathrooms, and you need to be VERY aware of your safety. I encourage you to always pay attention to your surroundings. A site manager will be on hand and following their directions is critical. If you do not you may be asked to leave the site. You will be asked to sign a waiver before you enter acknowledging that you are entering a potentially unsafe environment and that you will not hold either the owner or myself liable for any harm that may befall you or your equipment. Obviously the first priority on the trip, even before taking great pictures, is making sure that you are safe - but you will need to be the one looking out for that.

What to bring: I strongly recommend all of the following items:
- a bottle of water
- sturdy boots that protect your feet
- your tripod
- a fully charged cell phone
- your camera manual if you're unsure how to change settings. I can help you find the information you need in the manual but most cameras have their own ways of accessing features and changing settings and that makes things a lot easier.
- It's not necessary but a remote shutter switch is a nice thing to have and you can get a cheap one on Amazon for about $6 depending on your camera.

By signing up you agree to the following terms: Please make sure you check the email associated with your Paypal account for confirmation/updates! Your Paypal receipt is your confirmation, an email will follow with further details no less than a week prior to the event. You will need to sign a waiver to participate in this event, a sample of which can be found here. By signing up for this workshop you agree not to use information attained before or during the workshop to illegally trespass or set up alternate workshops/events.

REFUND POLICY: If you are unable to attend an event and notify me at admin@abandonedamerica.org more than 30 days prior to the event, you will be issued a full refund minus a $10 processing fee. Because of the extremely limited tour spots, if it is within 30 days of the event there are NO REFUNDS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES except in case of workshop cancellation by Abandoned America. You may give or sell a paid spot in the workshop to someone else if you are unable to attend but admission may not be transferred to another event. There is always a possibility that the workshop may need to be moved to a different date based on severe inclement weather, safety concerns, or site manager's limitations. If this is the case notification will be given immediately and a refund will be offered if attendee is unable to make the alternate date. We cannot be held liable for travel, rental, or other costs incurred by attendee in the event of workshop cancellation. We do make every effort to ensure all events run on schedule. All sales are final.

Any questions? Send me a note at admin@abandonedamerica.org - if the PayPal link is immediately below this there are still open spots.



Photo comment By Clint: Great photography, very interesting and true article. I grew up in Western Pa and often think of the coke ovens I played in as a kid the huge mountain of glass behind one of the glass factories in my town the swap across from my great grandparents house created because the clay was taken out to use in glass making and the huge mountains of slag from the coal mines. The Carrie mill is a great find and hope it can be saved. My partner and I have a small Christmas and gift shop, Elveslair.com across from a Inn originating in 1794. We would love to tour the Carrie Mill and volunteer with the project. I was also thinking we could sell prints in our store.
Photo comment By Bill Terry: If you have a mailing list for upcoming workshops pls put me on it.

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